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Anyone any thoughts on Robinson polytunnels

I am after a 12x15 tunnel (the biggest I can currently accommodate) to grow veg and whatever else it gets repurposed for :-). I have 3 companies in mind - first, northern and Robinson. The first two are known quantities and have regular positive feedback. They are quoting £950 and £750 respectively, whilst the latter is quoting £615. I see first spec higher quality components  (perhaps more than I need at this stage) and so can see why they are more expensive than both the others. However, Robinson seem to be on par spec-wise with first and I am leaning towards them as a decent solution for me in my not-too-exposed back garden. Does anyone have any experience with Robinson tunnels, especially compared to the other 2 potential sellers? I see it was setup by an ex northern employee, so i think that bodes well :-)
Many thanks in advance!


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,721
    edited February 2022
    I have 2 Northern Polytunnels, 21 feet x 56 feet, and 21 feet by 48 feet, and I'm delighted with them. 
    One is 9 years old and the other is 8 years old. 
    Both laughed in the face of Eunice last week.
    I'm 750 up, 10 miles from the Atlantic and can see all the way to Bodmin. ( about 40 miles away) so " pretty exposed " 
  • Thanks Hosta. Pretty exposed with beautiful vistas no doubt :-) I can now clearly see that northern are a very safe bet, I just need to decide if I need to pay another 300 or so as a kind of quality insurance premium.
    Kind regards
  • I bought a First tunnel back end of last year. I chose the one with anchor plates that are buried as we're quite wind exposed. It rocked during storm Eunice but stayed put with no damage. My garden wall fell over so that tells you how windy it was. I also chose aluminium base plates for longevity.

    Despite two of us working together for much of the construction phase we found it very complicated to build. My helper had previously experience of erecting tunnels so it wasn't as if we lacked experience. He commented it neither intuitive nor easy compared with other tunnel builds. It was deeply frustrating and I would choose another company next time in the hope it would be simpler and less time-consuming. 
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,721
    Northern have base "poles" which are concreted in to place, then the hoops are slotted over the top and bolted into place. 
    I had a builder set out and do these then Hubby , but mostly me erected the rest ourselves, including skinning.
    Fiddly, infuriating, but worth the effort
  • Hi rachelQrtJHBjb,
    Thank you for sharing your experience. I didn't think that there could be such complexity to building what is essentially a big tent (said tongue in cheek :-)). It's really valuable to know. I was looking at trenching the cover. Do you think that would help, or would the build still be awkward? Having fitted an IKEA kitchen yesterday and done Battle with its manual, I'm reminded of the significance of clear instructions :-)
    Many thanks. 
  • Hi Hosta, 
    Thanks for the info. Sounds a robust design. Northern do seem to be the best choice if you want peace of mind and are prepared to pay the premium.  They are still in the running for me. I'm looking at ordering in a couple of weeks, so I'll weigh all factors up then.
    Many thanks. 
  • Hi all, I meant to apologise for my tardy reply. I neglected to update my email address so was waiting to be notified via the wrong email address :-(
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